by Barry Kent MacKay,
Senior Program Associate
Born Free USA’s Canadian Representative
The welcome arrival of Volume 7 of the Handbook of Mammals of the World last week, hot off the press, reinforced my view that most animal protectionists and conservationists share a bias in favor of the “charismatic megafauna,” like pandas, whales, apes, and elephants, which precludes knowledge of both just how incredibly diverse the animal kingdom is and how many species are at risk due to the accelerated rates of endangerment and extinction we now see.
The book covers just nine families of rodents. Volume 6 covered the rest, plus the lagomorphs (rabbits, hares, pikas).
Of the 14 species of birch mice, one is endangered, one vulnerable; of 35 species of jerboa, one is vulnerable; of the five species of tree…
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